Airways’ former subsidiary Deutsche BA is coming back to haunt the flag carrier
by launching competing services to Berlin.
airline, now known as DBA, will launch thrice-daily flights during the week from
Gatwick to Berlin from November 10. BA offloaded the carrier to Nuremberg-based
company INTRO in July for one euro.
part of the deal, BA agreed to invest £25 million in its former airline and
underwrite its 16 aircraft for a year at a cost of £24 million.
operates the Berlin route from Heathrow, but could see passengers transferring
to DBA because of its £50 lead-in return fare, including taxes, and
early-morning departure times.
source said: “BA is essentially funding its own competition. INTRO chief executive
Hans Rudolf Wohrl got the airline for a symbolic fee and managed to get BA to
continue to fund it. It’s a fantastic deal.”
the sell-off, BA will receive a cut of any future DBA profits until June 2006
but any profit is unlikely to match the money BA has pumped into the airline. A
DBA spokeswoman said: “The idea behind the airline is it will serve everyone –
leisure and business clients.”
used the airline for domestic German services and some routes to mainland
Europe from its Munich base.
currently operates to all of the main German centres – including Munich,
Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart – and it could extend UK services from these
chief executive Rod Eddington nearly sold the airline to EasyJet for £100
million in 2002 but the no-frills carrier pulled out earlier this year. A BA
spokeswoman said: “DBA is independent so there’s nothing to stop it launching
this route. We don’t see it as competition because we fly from Heathrow.”
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